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Flagship dairy begins to take shape

Press Release   •   Jul 31, 2009 14:12 BST

Arla Foods is taking delivery of state of the art processing equipment as work on the £70 million expansion at its flagship dairy in Stourton, Leeds gains momentum.

The outer shell of the building is now almost complete and internal building work is progressing well allowing the dairy to begin to receive bespoke processing kit and holding tanks in preparation for the arrival of six new fillers from September, some of which have been designed to fill more than one product, providing maximum flexibility.

The significant investment at Stourton will allow the site to process a range of fresh dairy products, including fresh cream and Crème Fraîche. It will also allow Arla to manufacture cottage cheese for the first time in the UK when the site becomes operational early in 2010.

Around 100 new jobs are being created and recruitment for these positions has begun in order that the new team is ready to begin commissioning later this year.

To date, Arla has already invested £100 million at Stourton dairy, which processes milk for the major supermarkets as well as leading milk brand, Cravendale.

“It is a very intensive and challenging time but an extremely valuable experience for those involved,” said Lars Dalsgaard, business group director for supply chain. “The creation of a state of the art multi-product dairy does not happen very often and is a fantastic opportunity for us.

“There are very few areas of the company that are not involved in the project in some way, underlining the size of the task, the importance of it for the business and our commitment to the UK dairy industry and delivering for our customers.”

Arla Foods UK plc is home to some of the UK’s leading dairy brands including Cravendale, Lurpak and Anchor. Processing approximately two billion litres of milk a year Arla continues to be one of the UK’s leading dairy companies and a supplier of fresh liquid milk and cream to the top seven retailers.

Over 2,500 daily deliveries are made directly to stores nationwide and Arla brands can be found across the dairy category. As well as the leader of the butter, spreads and margarine sector, and a major supplier of other added value products including flavoured milk and cheese, Arla continues to build working relationships with Arla Foods Milk Partnership, a unique group of dairy farmers, which supplies around 90 per cent of Arla's total milk requirements.

Behind this leading business is a team of circa 2,800 people across the UK located at our dairies, distribution centres and head office.